Checked Out

Every woman needs a man,
her mother told her, to make
her complete.  To submit,

she realizes, too late, soul
traded for high-rise living,
big city dreams numbing

inner losses; she eats to
appease an inner sorrow,
a second-rate childhood,

afraid of being a burden,
loathe to create a stir,
conditioned complacency:

appeasing, pleasing, follows
plans, avoids decisions, never
really knows where she is going.

Can she fault the man, schooled
to provide – the alpha male taking
ownership/ charge?  His child

lives here too, feeds on impulses,
craves attention, overcompensates
for fears of lacking with bravado;

cannot understand why she never
asserts her self, alternately reads
acceptance and disapproval, frets –

an eternally unsettled gnawing gut.
They stumble over one another, seek
separation in small quarters, discuss

repairmen, schedules – nothing;
avoid deeper issues like the fact
that they are both suffocating, near

jumping off the ledge of their high
faluting existence, into the snarl
of traffic that immobilizes them.

The noise of city living has negated
their ability to listen, the distractions
altered them; the distance between

is too far to bridge in a single sigh,
and she, no longer submissive,
has joined him, and checked out.


Response to Scorned

Hey, I didn’t force you into my bed,
seem to recall you came willingly,
never pretended to be Prince Charming,
was actually intimidated by your Disney
fantasies – thought you liked our
intimacy, would have got up to look
after the children, but you were already
on it, and besides, I never do it right.

The other woman was never about you,
it was about me, feeling inadequate in
face of your uber-confidence, getting
my ego stroked, and …well, you know –
never imagined it would lead here, value
my family – leave the children out of it!

Emasculation?! Let me tell you, working
my ass off to make you happy, when one
minute you say you want one thing, and
the next you chastise my for not knowing
that was a ploy and that I should know
what you actually want, because I am
supposed to be a mind reader – and how
did I know that your great-uncle Bob was
a leach, so I’m expected to make reparation.

Okay, I made a mistake, gave into temptation,
went for the bait, but it was never her I wanted.
All I want is the couple we used to be, that
happy go-lucky, hotter than hell twosome,
who dreamed of a family, and a mortgage,
two cars, two kids, and a dog – I just didn’t
realize it would all be so hard – and somehow
I just started to feel left out of the party, and
don’t worry I’m getting my payback – will
be punished forever – you try being a man!